‘Caught in the Middle’

In the Spring of 2008 Caledonia artist Barb Patterson-Tuck released a painting depicting her impression of the Caledonia crisis and the roles of various individuals involved. The work is called ‘Caught in the Middle,’ and it portrays how innocent people are caught between the inaction of the OPP and politicians (hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil) and the violence and intimidation of native protesters.

Click image for high-res version

The centre of the painting – the maple leaf – recognizes the victims of race-based policing as well as those who have been most active in attempting to restore the rule of law to her town. It includes portraits of three CANACE founders: Gary McHale, CANACE’s Executive Director; Caledonia Liaison Merlyn Kinrade, and Vice-President Mark Vandermaas (VoC).

Gary McHale is wearing glasses at the lower right side of the maple leaf.

VoC is above Gary to the left and is portrayed with the blue UN beret worn during Jan 20/07 protest when I tried (unsuccessfully) to get senior OPP officers to meet with us.

Merlyn Kinrade is facing left at the upper point of the maple leaf.

Inspired by CANACE protest at Fantino’s home

Although not all those depicted were involved, the central scene was inspired by our protest in Woodbridge where Doug Fleming (back turned at top of ladder, and at lower left with his ‘Doug’s Smokes’ protest sign) and Merlyn Kinrade (top, facing left) placed Canadian flags on hydro poles directly opposite the home of OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino on March 02/08:

Caledonia residents Dave Brown and Dana Chatwell are on the left side of maple leaf facing right while Chris Syrie is depicted just above Dana, below Merlyn. Brian Hagan is on the right side of maple leaf just above Gary McHale. Doug Fleming’s brother, Randy, is just below Gary wearing the blue toque.

(Dave & Dana’s $12M lawsuit contains a number of shocking allegations; visit VoC’s ‘Caledonia Lawsuits‘ feature page to read the actual Statement of Claim as well as other related stories.)

Caledonia – caught between political-correctness gone mad and native extremism

The left side of the ‘flag’ portrays (L to R) Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, Prime Minister Harper, and former Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Michael Bryant.

Above the three politicians most responsible for Caledonia’s misery are the ‘hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil’ monkeys that serve as an apt metaphor for their shameful tolerance of the violence, crime and intimidation caused by the native thugs on the right side of the painting, and of the outrageous civil rights abuses committed by OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino and his force.

Fantino who enforces racial policing, and uses his office to arrest and slander non-natives who try to exercise their rights is shown with a shiny ‘black and white’ police car emblazoned with ‘peace’ symbols intended to signify the OPP’s abandonment of law enforcement in favour of the force’s appeasement of violent criminals.

CANACE not aware of their inclusion in painting

'Caught in the Middle' wins first prize at Caledonia Fair, Sept 2008

No one in CANACE had any foreknowledge that Barb Patterson-Tuck was creating this wonderful painting or that we would be honoured by being portrayed in it. We had the chance to thank her personally when she stopped by the Gary McHale campaign booth at the Caledonia fair where ‘Caught in the Middle‘ won first prize in the art competition.

Thank you, again, Barb, for creating a work of art that tells the story of Caledonia in a way that 10,000 words could never accomplish.

One response to “‘Caught in the Middle’

  1. Miss Susan M Kettle

    My brother in Alberta sent me this book & read in 3 days. Can hardly believe what happened, or didn’t happened, re OPP> Have fwded book to Cornerbrook & will be fwded from thereon ad infinitum. Feel so sorry still for the non native residents of Caledonia.

    Miss Susan M Kettle, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, U K

    VoC REPLY: Hi Sue,

    1. Thanks so much for writing. It was almost impossible for us to believe, too. I can assure you, based on the 4.5 years that we have been working on this project full time that every word of it is true. We have met nearly everyone in the book and, as you can may have noticed, Gary & Christine McHale were credited by Christie for their assistance. We have mounds of evidence a lot of which made it into the book, and some that didn’t (not a criticism at all, the book could easily have run 1,000 pages).

    2. Non-natives weren’t the only ones hurt. Natives on the occupation site were raped and assaulted. The violence was so bad that the original occupiers who had terrorized Caledonia were too afraid to go on the site themselves!

    3. Since you’re from the UK…

    Caledonia is far, far more than just a localized mom & pop land claim issue, and what happened there should matter to everyone concerned about racial policing and radical Islam. One of Canada’s greatest journalists, the legendary Peter Worthington, recently quoted us and compared our struggle against appeasement of native extremism with the appeasement of Islamic extremism in Europe, a message we have been trying to help the world understand:


    The International Free Press Society (Lars Hedegaard from Denmark is President) recently published our message to Europeans about using the power of Dr. Martin Luther King’s ‘non-violent direct action’ methods to confront government appeasement of Islamic extremism:

    “Dr. King’s ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’ vs. Denmark’s thought crime prosecutions: a blueprint for victory over appeasement of Islamic extremism”

    There’s a link to it here:

    We wrote it, not only for Denmark, but also for the people of the UK who support the EDL. We’re hoping that people can help spread our message that our use of Dr. King’s lessons of ‘non-violent direct action’ can be applied to peacefully confront the appeasement of Islamic extremism.

    3. Since you ‘liked’ Helpless, we’ve prepared a ‘post-Helpless Reading List’ to help policy makers understand the many issues arising from Caledonia. Check these two pages out:



    These recommendations are designed to combat all extremism, not just the native variety.

    Sorry to go on so long, but you’re the first person to write from the UK, so you got me excited, especially since we’re following things there.


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